Crescent Moon and planets over the Basilica

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:: The image shows the lovely conjucntion above the eastern horizon early this morning.  Near the left bottom of the frame is Mercury just over the colorful twilight glow while Venus is shining left of the Moon’s sunlit crescent. The scene is completed by the silhouette of the Basilica of Saint John Bosco ::

:: Canon Eos 5D Mk II  – focal lenght: 105 mm – exp: 1.3 sec. – aperture: f/4 – ISO: 500 ::

I would like to dedicate this picture to the memory of Patrick Moore, whose passion for the heavens inspired me as millions of people around the world.

My new video “The Sky over Turin”

Enjoy my new video showing images I took in Turin and its surroundings ;-)

Clicking the links below you will find more info on some of the images included:

Venus, Mercury and Mars in the predawn twilight

The planet show goes on: this morning I caught the close encounter between Venus, Mercury and Mars (it appeared very dim among the clouds)

The best Mercury of 2011

This evening Mercury reached greatest eastern elongation and some 40 minutes after sunset it appeared well above the chain of the Alps — a pretty rare view :-)

Tech. details: Canon Eos 1000d; Exp: 2 sec; F/5.6; ISO: 400

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Mercury in the Equinox day

This evening of the Equinox day (that in Italy occurred at 00.21 a.m.) I imaged Mercury above a lonely tree above a hill of the Langhe, the region in the Northwest of Italy famous for its wines. It was some 50 minutes after sunset and less than two days of days before its greatest eastern elongation: I never saw Mercury so high in the sky! 

Tech details: Canon Eos 1000d; Exp: 2.5 sec; F/5.6; ISO: 200

19 March SuperMoon – If you missed it (like me…), follow the links below with great pics from around the world:

Venus and Mercury in the pre-dawn twilight

After many days of cloudy weather, this morning I did not want to miss the rare occasion of  clear sky so one and a half before hour dawn moved to a hill with an open view over the eastern horizon of Turin to try to capture Venus and Mercury just few days after their greatest elongation from the Sun (that occurred on the 8th and 9h of January, respectively).

When I arrived, Venus was already very high in the sky, shining at a -4.4 magnitude!, directly above the reddish Antares in Scorpius, whereas Mercury was still immersed in the pre-dawn twilight glow but easily detectable with naked eyes. “Venus now appears higher and brighter in the morning sky than at any time in more than 3 years,” says Astronomy magazine Senior Editor Michael E. Bakich.

This beautiful morning scene was worth an early wake!